MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey Lecture July 24, 2013

Taufel calls for pragmatic approach to technology

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Simon Taufel, the former ICC Elite Panel umpire, has warned that there is a "double edge" to using technology in decision making but officials should be more "pragmatic" in utilising all available tools.

Taufel, who retired from umpiring after the World T20 in October 2012, delivered the 13th MCC Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture at Lord's and warned that the highly intrusive nature of technology can put "pressure" on the umpire if not utilised cautiously. Yet, at the same time, Taufel said the match officials, who he called the "third team", needed to be more prudent about the use of technology.

In addition to being the first umpire to deliver this prestigious lecture, Taufel was the third Australian. The inaugural lecture in 2001 was delivered by Richie Benaud before Adam Gilchrist spoke in 2009. Taufel also is the third non-player to deliver the speech with the previous two being Desmond Tutu in 2009 and the late journalist Christopher Martin-Jenkins in 2006.

Taufel, who has been rated one of the best umpires of all time, now serves as the ICC umpire training and performance manager. Being the first umpire to deliver the Cowdrey lecture might have carried a unique honour but Taufel was equally aware of the timing: in the middle of an Ashes series during which the decision-making of the umpires and the use of the DRS has garnered as much attention as the Australians' batting.

But like a true fencer, Taufel had come equipped with all protective gear even though he called himself a "target". He said the public scrutiny faced by umpires where their every movement and facial expression is judged has its dangers.

"In today's cricket, the decision of the umpire is scrutinised by all these cameras," Taufel said. "Slow motion, ultra motion, Hot Spot front on, Hot Spot leg side, Hot Spot off side, ball tracking and prediction, Snicko, stump audio, the mat and then by up to three commentary experts. After all that public scrutiny and technology, there is often divided opinion about what the correct decision was."

Although Taufel was not against the broadcasters spending money on high-end technology, he was wary of the fast-gathering army of armchair critics, which is quick to adjudge the match official. "The investment by television companies in extra cameras, high-speed frame rates, computer software programs and military infra-red technology, plus high definition has certainly given the spectators a lot more information," he said. "There is no doubt we now have a lot more 'armchair' experts.

"Today, everyone umpires the game by watching television. The invasive nature of this broadcasting has a double edge to it - it does put more pressure on players and umpires. Not too much now happens on a cricket field that is not captured by a camera, a microphone or piece of technology. This has the ability to bring out the best in the game and also the worst."

"No matter what system of technology we implement in our game, it will not be perfect or 100%. There are compromises with every system adopted."
Simon Taufel

According to Taufel, the role of the umpire today is much more than just making decisions. "We have to police (and I personally dislike this term and approach) other vital areas of the modern game," he said. "Player behaviour, ball tampering, over rates, logos and clothing, impact of ground, weather and light, having to reduce playing times." In that respect the introduction of technology had its benefits and even allowed the player and the viewer to understand the challenge faced by match officials during a live match.

"One benefit of the current technology system has been the reduction in dissent charges and improvement in behaviour accordingly on the field. In the majority of cases in the modern game, if an umpire has made an error, there is an ability to correct it. In an Ashes Test, if there is an error off the first ball of the game, it can be corrected at the time rather than have it on the umpire's conscience for the rest of the day and have the players constantly remind him of it. If I make an error, it stays with me all day, all game and I have to keep focused and performing in the middle. There is no dressing room to immediately take refuge while another umpire comes out to the middle, no time off the field to regather thoughts and regroup."

Regardless of the many backers technology has, it has many times, as during this Ashes, proved to be inconclusive. That has stoked the scepticism of the biggest detractor of the DRS, the BCCI, which has refused to adopt a mandatory DRS in a bilateral series, even threatening to not participate if such a decision was imposed.

But Taufel said everyone involved needs take a call that would only serve cricket well and increase respect among its fans. "I believe the highest form of the game needs to have the highest standards of respect, spirit of cricket, behaviour and integrity - those at the highest level are setting the tone and standards for others to follow, be they players, umpires or administrators. We owe the future of our game that much.

"The technology genie has been let out of the bottle and it's not going to go back in. I would simply advocate that we look at ways to be as pragmatic as possible so we can get more correct decisions and deliver more justice. I do have an important message on this topic though as it is often asked, 'what is your view on the DRS?' I'm not sure that this is the right question.

"Perhaps we should be asking 'are we using technology in the best way to serve the players, supporters, umpires and values of our game?' No matter what system of technology we implement in our game, it will not be perfect or 100%. The all-human solution is not 100%, neither is the DRS and neither will be an 'all appeals' review system. There are trade-offs and compromises with every system adopted. It all depends how the majority believe our game should be played underpinned with the values we want to promote and preserve."

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    There are some people who's words I'll gladly accept. Simon Taufel is one of them. He, in my opinion, is not just the best umpire ever comparatively, he is also a very genuine and a good individual on/off the field. I won't argue with his opinions in the field he has build an admirable forte for himself (i.e. cricketing matters albeit in umpiring). Just to hear him is a pleasure, a very soft-spoken man. What he is recommending among other things, is a balance on why/how technology should be used. He isn't pro/anti DRS. He was just pointing towards striking the right balance, and 'balance' undoubtedly is the key almost everywhere! Wish he was selected for more important roles in cricket administration. Meanwhile congratulations on being selected for this prestigious speech!

  • POSTED BY concerned_cricketer on | July 24, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Yes Simon Taufel is sorely missed. The best umpire that I have seen in action.

    His suggestion that the 'third team' should do the best job each time is already proving unlikely. In several of the decisions we have seen in this Ashes, the decision given by the third umpire has been bewildering because the public is not told which bits of evidence the decision was based on. If we are going to use DRS in all games then I would expect the case and the evidence to be declared clearly and transparently. If the hotspot is not conclusive enough or if the charlie in charge of the hotspot failed to capture the crucial ball and the third umpire has decided to go by the sound, snicko and super slow motion then that fact must be declared on TV. If doing all that is onerous, then just dump the DRS and go by the onfield umpire's decision. Only one thing is worse than a howler - a DRS howler.

  • POSTED BY powerash5000 on | July 27, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Stay with on-field decision unless there is something obviously wrong in the review. for 50/50 calls the 3rd umpire should stay out of it and leave it to the middle ie. Agar's last dismissal and Bells low catch; theses are dumbfounding overturned decisions that the 3rd umpire has no clear call on and should stay out of. Just revert to the on-fields call. Keep the game flowing and maintain some respect for the guys in the middle.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    There are basically 3 problems in the current system:

    1. Captains use DRS for 50-50 decisions 2. Captains run out of reviews and up unable to use DRS for howlers 3. Third umpire takes Wrong decisions on howlers.

    Solution for (1) and (2) are simple: Give the control to the Third umpire(s) on choice of which decisions to review and which decisions to over-rule and which decisions to stop the play for.

    Solution for (3) is to have a team of three independent Third umpires secluded in a separate room each, having 3 buttons, "Out", "Not out", "Not sure" and let the Computer over-turn the decisions if it gets Majority to overturn the ruling on the field.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    I have often commented in UDRS related debates.The only problem is ICC takes an awful lot of time in realising the obvious.The mistakes/problems created by lack of DRS in various series,by incorrect use of DRS /batsmen ,debates about batsmen not walking on his own when reviews are finished etc etc.The only solution is to take reviews out of players' hands.The review must be done by umpire only and most importantly ,whenever there is a doubt look at the TV evidence which is so easily available and already seen by all the viewers.Deliberately creating laws like only 2 incorrect reviews (1 in case of ODIs)which discriminate against lower order batsmen.create a big furore (if batsmen dont walk ...as in Broad's case,why cant the 3rd umpire call the two in the middle and scream out the obvious.......why should we create laws with inherent flaws in it....why have a big resource ,spend lot of money and then close your eyes in situations which demand their use.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | July 25, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    DRS and Hotspot are here to stay. They should assist in making the correct decision within bounds as is being done today. Like with any new technology/process, it takes time to mature and be accepted by all concerned; players and fans. There will come a time it will be used for every international match once these kinks are removed.

  • POSTED BY sdwlrd on | July 25, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    @clarke501 The players should not have the right to review. Even if they need to either the captain or some other designated person should do it. Many players seem to miss the point of DRS, maybe its because the system is new. Umpires taking a few minutes to check tough decisions is better than the current system wasting 5-10 mins per review. I still think the on-field umpires must be given the tools to make the correct decision. Deferring the decision off-field, even if it is the third umpire means lack of confidence in the umpires.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | July 25, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    @sdwlrd - Fair point but it's the 'few minutes' which worries me. Multiply that by the number of frivolous reviews which the umpire is too scared to reject outright and forget bowling 90 overs in a day.

    @Alexk400 - Test match tickets are expensive enough already without censoring what spectators are trusted to see. Why should they get less information than the TV viewer.

  • POSTED BY Sarfin on | July 25, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    It's time to independently train 3rd umpires. As technology is becoming an important issue, tv umpires should be in a different category and have specialized training. International umpires are highly trained. They regularly make astonishingly correct decisions within a split of a second. When that same group of people cannot avoid controversy even with the help of technology, then clearly they lack something. Just pick 2 umpires from each test playing nations and arrange a workshop. It'll not take huge amount of time as they are already accustomed to the fundamental laws of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Best way to use DRS - For LBWs, simply review if the ball was pitched in line or not. Also check if there was an inside edge. Let the on field umpire decide ball's trajectory and height. Umpires have the best view and know how the pitch is behaving. Technology determining which way ball will go is ridiculous, no matter how sophisticated it is. Let the third umpire intervene if there was a howler. No need for batsman to review the decision.

    For close catches or faint nicks, again, let the third umpire review without fielding team or batsman requesting a review.

    Of course, all this should be done only if there was an appeal and umpire either decided to declare a batsman out or not out.

    After a decision has been made on the ground, give the third umpire fixed time within which a decision is required from him. If the replays are inconclusive or arriving at conclusion is taking longer than expected, stay with on-field umpire's decision.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    There are some people who's words I'll gladly accept. Simon Taufel is one of them. He, in my opinion, is not just the best umpire ever comparatively, he is also a very genuine and a good individual on/off the field. I won't argue with his opinions in the field he has build an admirable forte for himself (i.e. cricketing matters albeit in umpiring). Just to hear him is a pleasure, a very soft-spoken man. What he is recommending among other things, is a balance on why/how technology should be used. He isn't pro/anti DRS. He was just pointing towards striking the right balance, and 'balance' undoubtedly is the key almost everywhere! Wish he was selected for more important roles in cricket administration. Meanwhile congratulations on being selected for this prestigious speech!

  • POSTED BY concerned_cricketer on | July 24, 2013, 21:30 GMT

    Yes Simon Taufel is sorely missed. The best umpire that I have seen in action.

    His suggestion that the 'third team' should do the best job each time is already proving unlikely. In several of the decisions we have seen in this Ashes, the decision given by the third umpire has been bewildering because the public is not told which bits of evidence the decision was based on. If we are going to use DRS in all games then I would expect the case and the evidence to be declared clearly and transparently. If the hotspot is not conclusive enough or if the charlie in charge of the hotspot failed to capture the crucial ball and the third umpire has decided to go by the sound, snicko and super slow motion then that fact must be declared on TV. If doing all that is onerous, then just dump the DRS and go by the onfield umpire's decision. Only one thing is worse than a howler - a DRS howler.

  • POSTED BY powerash5000 on | July 27, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    Stay with on-field decision unless there is something obviously wrong in the review. for 50/50 calls the 3rd umpire should stay out of it and leave it to the middle ie. Agar's last dismissal and Bells low catch; theses are dumbfounding overturned decisions that the 3rd umpire has no clear call on and should stay out of. Just revert to the on-fields call. Keep the game flowing and maintain some respect for the guys in the middle.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    There are basically 3 problems in the current system:

    1. Captains use DRS for 50-50 decisions 2. Captains run out of reviews and up unable to use DRS for howlers 3. Third umpire takes Wrong decisions on howlers.

    Solution for (1) and (2) are simple: Give the control to the Third umpire(s) on choice of which decisions to review and which decisions to over-rule and which decisions to stop the play for.

    Solution for (3) is to have a team of three independent Third umpires secluded in a separate room each, having 3 buttons, "Out", "Not out", "Not sure" and let the Computer over-turn the decisions if it gets Majority to overturn the ruling on the field.

  • POSTED BY on | July 26, 2013, 7:32 GMT

    I have often commented in UDRS related debates.The only problem is ICC takes an awful lot of time in realising the obvious.The mistakes/problems created by lack of DRS in various series,by incorrect use of DRS /batsmen ,debates about batsmen not walking on his own when reviews are finished etc etc.The only solution is to take reviews out of players' hands.The review must be done by umpire only and most importantly ,whenever there is a doubt look at the TV evidence which is so easily available and already seen by all the viewers.Deliberately creating laws like only 2 incorrect reviews (1 in case of ODIs)which discriminate against lower order batsmen.create a big furore (if batsmen dont walk ...as in Broad's case,why cant the 3rd umpire call the two in the middle and scream out the obvious.......why should we create laws with inherent flaws in it....why have a big resource ,spend lot of money and then close your eyes in situations which demand their use.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | July 25, 2013, 18:26 GMT

    DRS and Hotspot are here to stay. They should assist in making the correct decision within bounds as is being done today. Like with any new technology/process, it takes time to mature and be accepted by all concerned; players and fans. There will come a time it will be used for every international match once these kinks are removed.

  • POSTED BY sdwlrd on | July 25, 2013, 18:08 GMT

    @clarke501 The players should not have the right to review. Even if they need to either the captain or some other designated person should do it. Many players seem to miss the point of DRS, maybe its because the system is new. Umpires taking a few minutes to check tough decisions is better than the current system wasting 5-10 mins per review. I still think the on-field umpires must be given the tools to make the correct decision. Deferring the decision off-field, even if it is the third umpire means lack of confidence in the umpires.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | July 25, 2013, 17:14 GMT

    @sdwlrd - Fair point but it's the 'few minutes' which worries me. Multiply that by the number of frivolous reviews which the umpire is too scared to reject outright and forget bowling 90 overs in a day.

    @Alexk400 - Test match tickets are expensive enough already without censoring what spectators are trusted to see. Why should they get less information than the TV viewer.

  • POSTED BY Sarfin on | July 25, 2013, 14:16 GMT

    It's time to independently train 3rd umpires. As technology is becoming an important issue, tv umpires should be in a different category and have specialized training. International umpires are highly trained. They regularly make astonishingly correct decisions within a split of a second. When that same group of people cannot avoid controversy even with the help of technology, then clearly they lack something. Just pick 2 umpires from each test playing nations and arrange a workshop. It'll not take huge amount of time as they are already accustomed to the fundamental laws of cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 13:51 GMT

    Best way to use DRS - For LBWs, simply review if the ball was pitched in line or not. Also check if there was an inside edge. Let the on field umpire decide ball's trajectory and height. Umpires have the best view and know how the pitch is behaving. Technology determining which way ball will go is ridiculous, no matter how sophisticated it is. Let the third umpire intervene if there was a howler. No need for batsman to review the decision.

    For close catches or faint nicks, again, let the third umpire review without fielding team or batsman requesting a review.

    Of course, all this should be done only if there was an appeal and umpire either decided to declare a batsman out or not out.

    After a decision has been made on the ground, give the third umpire fixed time within which a decision is required from him. If the replays are inconclusive or arriving at conclusion is taking longer than expected, stay with on-field umpire's decision.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 13:31 GMT

    If the reviews only confirm the field umpires' decision, the team which made the appeal should be penalised by a certain number of runs. How many runs need to be knocked off is something the technical committee of ICC can decide.

    Once we put this penalty in force, we could allow any number of appeals. The flimsy appeals, or the gamble of an appeal, will stop. If a particular player has made an appeal and lose runs will also get ostrasized by his teammates. This system should work.

  • POSTED BY sdwlrd on | July 25, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    No need for reviews! Give the umpires Google Glass, partner with Google and devs and give them the tools real-time. Let the umpire take a few minutes analyzing the info before he gives the decision. No need for referral to the third umpire, on-field umpires can take the decision and become the sole authority.

  • POSTED BY Pteris on | July 25, 2013, 12:55 GMT

    As a young umpire, I gave an International player out stumped when he wasn't. There was a sparse crowd. One of which had a better, elevated view, than me. He verbally abused me. At tea, the player came up to me and said we all make mistakes. My ego wouldn't let me recall the player because of a heckler. And, at the instance, I still thought that I was correct. An umpire is there to ensure a fair result and to have TV replays showing uncorrected errors cannot help him achieve this goal in the future. DRS should help the umpire go home knowing that he has not made uncorrected errors that changed the outcome of the game. That, I believe is what Simon Taufel is saying.

  • POSTED BY shillingsworth on | July 25, 2013, 12:52 GMT

    @Felcin Raja - You make some good points if anyone bothers to read beyond the tiresome national point scoring. Once the BCCI offer constructive criticism and contribute to a better DRS, there will be no 'heat on them'. The rest are using DRS and thereby enabling it to be refined. There is no 'heat on them' at all.

    @indianpunter - Like the idea of extra review after 80 overs. Not convinced that the starting point should be 3 - it encourages more speculative reviews.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 12:38 GMT

    I think cricket is being tied down a lot by its tradition. why cant somebody look at this whole DRS issue from a professional angle. forget giving DRS into the hands of the players. it was introduced to help the umpires and the spirit of the game is that the umpires decision is going to be the final one. so have 10 min extra each day of a test match or each innings of an ODI for DRS. the umpires can decide which appeals they want to refer to DRS and which not. ultimately they have 10 minutes in the innings. if a 3rd umpire on an average cant make a choice in 1 min per decision forget it and go by the field umpires decision. in the work world are we not held accountable to our timings and standards of work? make that the same here for on field umpires. players cant challenge the decisions so there is no question of dissent. sometimes i am amazed as how long it takes cricket to move into the 21st century. get an outside consultant to work out this whole DRS process and this can be done.

  • POSTED BY aditya123k on | July 25, 2013, 12:09 GMT

    The use of technology in contemporary world is inevitable, there is so much at stake. One mistake could probably end other person's career. There is very little margin of error. Every sport whether it is tennis, Formula-1, badminton, hockey and many more is quickly shifting in use of technology. People say it takes out the excitement from the actual playing field but I strongly believe there are other big thing at stake i.e country, pride and honour. Just imagine you lose a world cup final because of misjudgement in spite of having suitable technology. You don't want to carry a grudge throughout your life that one incident has ruined your sleeps at night just like the way chetan sharma career was ruined by javed miandad by last ball 6.

  • POSTED BY Surajrises on | July 25, 2013, 12:06 GMT

    Going by the human nature, I have seen people in and around me getting excited when a batsman or the fielding captain takes the review but when the results have been so disappointing like what we have seen in the Ashes, you really feel for Australia and seriously dislike DRS. I always liked the idea of technology coming into Cricket but now that I can see its not 100% and the Third Umpires coming under immense pressure and making stupid decisions, the thought comes to mind is enough of Technology. Its really killing the game of Cricket. Yes it brings that element of surprise which makes it interesting for the fans when review is taken but when it goes the wrong way, it really leaves a bad taste in everyone's mouth. Aussies should have really won the 1st Test match. Very sad. The last time I felt so bad was when DRS went against India so badly in the Eng tour. This topic is going to be debatable for a long period till the technology improves and Umpires get used to it or they scrap it.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 25, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    @ajn1970, that is rather drastic, that could also mean that in small run chases a team doesnt review legitimate decisions for fear of giving away a significant number of runs. Imagine a team chasing 150 runs, an LBW looks plumb the fielding team reviews after a not out, its missing leg stump by a coat of varnish or going over the top by mm. they lose 25 runs reducing the total chase 125.

    Conversely, an LBW appeal goes against them the dont review it for fear of giving the opposition 25 runs, on review it shows its plumb.

    Penalising a team in this manner is nothing short of insane as it wont reduce problems only create more.

  • POSTED BY indianpunter on | July 25, 2013, 10:35 GMT

    Take away the predictive path, for god's sake ! Has anyone seen the published independent validation of hawkeye.?? Use hawkeye/ ball tracking only till point of impact, to check whats already happened. leave the rest to the umpire. Hot spot alone doesnt cut it, use it combination with snicko and sound tech. The reviews have to stay with the players ( as in tennis). maybe 3 reviews/ every new ball. Every new ball ( 80 overs), you refresh your reviews.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 10:25 GMT

    @Narayan.Shastri - With this system the TV umpire must decide quickly if he wants a timeout to review and only sparingly when the on-field decision looks like it might be a howler. The game will flow as it used to unless a review is called for.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 10:24 GMT

    When India felt the heat b'coz of DRS no one was there to find the flaw in the system.. Now ENG and AUS are feeling the heat... So everybody now started to cry about DRS. DRS is good but who is gonna use it wisely.. What are all the rules for DRS... Trot given out coz there is no edge in the hotspot.. But one other batsman given out eventhough there is no edge in hotspot... So everytjing here need to be Black and White... Avoid Grey area..

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 10:16 GMT

    37c, I don't have that much of a problem with the article, but I wonder who chose the "featured comment".

    Taufel clearly points out that the technology is there, will be looked at by tv, so ignoring it is impractical.

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | July 25, 2013, 10:10 GMT

    If the umpires think that their duty is to ensure correct decisions, they should embrace the technology. On the otherhand, if they take umpiring as an ego issue that whatever the umpire decides - right or wrong - should be realized, then they will advocate against it. Simple!

    Tennis can use the review system so efficiently; but cricket has always too many issues!

  • POSTED BY Baundele on | July 25, 2013, 10:03 GMT

    The technology is fine, DRS rules are not perfect; but still applicable and fair in certain extent. But again it is the man playing the third umpire role is at fault. When the DRS rules clearly says that on-field decisions can be over turned only if there is certain evidence to decide against it; and then the man changes the decision based on some noise, no deviation, no contact, nothing else!

    Umpires should not take it as personal against them, rather they should help the DRS and use it to ensure correct decisions.

    One improvement may be, removing the third umpire role from DRS decisions. Let the technology do the judgement in DRS cases. Then third umpire's biasness will not influence the decision.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 9:24 GMT

    Timely remarks made by one of the best umpires in the modern era. Hopefully current umpires and authorities take a cue from his statement and practice what he has preached.

  • POSTED BY 37c. on | July 25, 2013, 8:55 GMT

    The writer of this news story reveals himself to be a BCCI supporter, and to be against DRS. My criticism is that Gollapudi adds his commentary into a news story - commentshould stay as comment and not masquerade as news. While Gollapudi offers the Ashes tests as examples of controversy, he offers no instances where DRS has worked well - and those are in the majority, i.e., more than 95% providing the correct result.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 25, 2013, 8:52 GMT

    one Improvment would be to use a dye on the pitch to mark out qhere stumpa are, all the way down, just like they havw on all those replays, make it that much more easy for the batsman bowler and umpire, on lbw calls.

  • POSTED BY 37c. on | July 25, 2013, 8:50 GMT

    There is some irony here in calling this the "Spirit of Cricket Cowdrey lecture", considering the shameful role that Colin Cowdery played in the D'Olivera affair. Taufel, however, is brilliant, unlike Cowdery.

  • POSTED BY Narayan.Shastri on | July 25, 2013, 8:48 GMT

    I am not sure when exactly the concept of HawkEye HotSpot-DRS system originated, but I would like to suggest the 'back to the board' plan for DRS, i.e., introducing this technology in first-class matches (County, Ranji Trophy, Sheffield Shield etc) across all Test-playing countries, INCLUDING INDIA. This can be treated like a BETA version, and feedback collected from all parties concerned. Then the loopholes can be suitably plugged and then introduced at Test and ODI levels.

  • POSTED BY Narayan.Shastri on | July 25, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    @ Jeremy Bradshaw Although your suggestion makes sense, on the flip side, more than a couple of minutes could be used up and could slow the pace of the game.

  • POSTED BY Narayan.Shastri on | July 25, 2013, 8:12 GMT

    Simon Taufel has put forth many pertinent points. I hope the cricketing world and the umpiring fraternity pays heed. He is really the "Brihaspati" or "Jupiter" of the umpires. If we remember correctly, even when he had his decisions subject to review, 99.9% of his original decisions stood correct (never overturned).

    I hope his umpire training endeavour brings out good quality umpires. DRS should stay, in order to reduce umpiring blunders.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 8:04 GMT

    Let the game commence on-field as it did before DRS. A TV umpire will signal a timeout if (on a quick replay, before the next ball) he believes a decision looks doubtful and needs reviewing. He'll have a bit more time to decide to review in the 1 minute a batsman given out takes to leave the field. TV umpire communicates with the on-field umpire to reach the correct decision. No ball tracking, snicko or hotspot should be available to TV companies.

  • POSTED BY ajn1970 on | July 25, 2013, 7:52 GMT

    I suggest all appeal review system but with the conditions that if the review system goes against the appealing team, then 25 runs has to be deducted for every such review that went against them. This can minimize the number of appeals. Also if the review system is not conclusive enough to find out the fact then the teams should not be penalized and the on field umpires' decision remains final. This can remove the pressure on umpires as well as control the appeals by the teams. But the system has to be followed by all the cricketing nations and BCCI should not be given any special power to act on its own in this regard. The system should be a mandatory one. Of course, all the decisions can't be 100% correct, but it can reduce the possibility of errors in decision making to the maximum extent.

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | July 25, 2013, 7:39 GMT

    ICC should go ahead and revoke the front foot no ball call from the on field umpires and use technology to decide on it. The technology is quite fool proof on this issue at least. It will help umpires to concentrate completely on the batsmen and making the most important decisions i.e adjudging weather the batsmen is out or not out. Anyways if we look at the recent trend the umpires more often then not refer to third umpire for no balls when the wicket is fallen. That means the on field umpires subconsciously are concentrating on the batsmen rather then the bowlers delivery stride at the time of delivery. The fraction of more time will certainly help the umpires in making better calls.

  • POSTED BY Sarfin on | July 25, 2013, 7:28 GMT

    Taufel is undoubtedly the best umpire I've seen. I believe he should be in the middle not behind a desk. I believe his current job can be done by some other qualified person, but being a top class umpire is something different and a rare talent. But I'm a bit disappointed reading this piece. I got nothing. I remember reading Foundation series by Asimov, where a politician gave several speeches but after analyzing those it was discovered he said 'nothing'. I've the same feeling now. I was hoping someone with on filed umpiring experience discussing the issue, and who could be better than Taufel? I expected some directions from him. May be he is working behind the scene and will come up some kind of 'pragmatic' solution from his current position. This debate needs to be stopped.

  • POSTED BY electric_loco_WAP4 on | July 25, 2013, 7:14 GMT

    Fortunately or unfortunately the future of cricket is not tests for sure .First the IPL , now the Big Bash is what is going to be cricket's main bread and butter - not just the financial aspect as now - and dessert all the same. Good time to be an ump. with lot of healthy paychecks from the leagues and much less time standing hours on end on a hot sun for days on end,or 5 days mostly for a draw/no result for all that 'work' .-:)

  • POSTED BY imtiazjaleel on | July 25, 2013, 7:12 GMT

    When an umpire gives not out and the fielding side reviews the decision and the ball is just clipping the leg stump or off stump it goes in favour of the batsman. i believe when the ball hits the stump it should be out whether 100% or 50% or 5%. Its my opinion. It shows that u r not fully convinced with the technology.

  • POSTED BY Englishguru on | July 25, 2013, 7:09 GMT

    I can't see any logical reason why the third umpire shouldn't be able to request time to check something he believes may be incorrect. That would eliminate most of the howlers. The contentious "was there a slight edge" decisions are not the howlers the system was intended to eliminate. The third umpire could also be checking for no-ball deliveries that would otherwise result in a wicket.

  • POSTED BY Clyde on | July 25, 2013, 6:16 GMT

    Referring upstairs is objectionable while spectators and players are not permitted to see the expressions of those up there making the decisions and on what basis they are making them. Of course much of the technical evidence is inconclusive, and until everyone understands the intricacies of the technology it itself is objectionable, on the grounds that the spectators and players often do not understand it or know how to interpret it. The umpire at the wicket should have the sole power of decision, but should be able to consult with upstairs. Over time it will become clear who the umpires are who seem to get it right more often. What would be fatal for cricket is a decision made by the invisible and unaccountable. As things are going, there will have to be special spectator galleries for those who like to watch the goings-on of upstairs, which apparently lack nothing in sweat, drama and controversy. There better option might be, as I have said, to keep the responsibility on the field.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 5:22 GMT

    It has become painfully obvious that the current hodge-podge umpiring system is obsolete. There is no logic as to why the exact same LBW decision is either out or not out depending on what the on-field umpires initial call was. The system of reviews is a mess and needs to be scrapped. If technology were better integrated with the game there is no reason for the painful review process to occur as the proper decision could be made upstairs by an expert and relayed to the field in the time it takes for a player to review a decision! Just keep the onfield umpires for the easiest decisions (bowled, caught, simple run-outs) and refer everything else remotely contentious upstairs automatically where people with the tools, time and training can make the right decision.

  • POSTED BY bhusaranga on | July 25, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Great message. Focus should be on game. Technology should not take over the game. The game cricket somewhere getting lost.

  • POSTED BY on | July 25, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    Sadly, but there are no more umpires like Taufel.

  • POSTED BY Chris_Howard on | July 25, 2013, 2:45 GMT

    Hmm? Not sure what this really added to the debate. A little bit of insight into the pressures on umpires, but then he just proposed questions, which are already being asked anyway. And suggesting "pragmatic" use, without actually detailing what that means to him.

    Maybe it wasn't the platform to be proposing solutions, but I would really like to hear what solutions someone like Taufel his thinking.

  • POSTED BY pharaohsdad on | July 25, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Super Umpire !!! Great loss to the on-field game. Looking forward to his making a valuable and telling contribution to improving the usage of DRS.

  • POSTED BY Bundaboy on | July 25, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    Technology will always get better and better - humans will always be humans...

  • POSTED BY Viswasam on | July 25, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    I really like Simon Taufel but this is a neither here nor there piece. He admits the technology genie is out of the bottle but does not believe that it solves all the problems. Neither does the human solution nor the DRS and he ends with the "solution" that the majority will decide based on how our game should be played. Problem is the majority of us (the audience) understands and appreciates the "traditional" values of the game but the majority of the boards, the media and the guys profiting the most from the proceeds of the game will sway it the opposite way. So in reality this is no solution at all. Disappointing - I think the Cowdrey speech is of value if it is used by a distinguished cricketer or official to passionately take a clear stand on an issue.

  • POSTED BY wellrounded87 on | July 25, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    My only issue with the umpiring is the interpretation of conclusive evidence. When conclusive evidence is required to overrule the umpires on field decision. A noise on the stump mic is hardly conclusive proof yet in the ashes series i have seen it used 3 times to overrule the umpires decision despite no hotspot or visible ball deviation to suggest a nick. I understand these calls can go either way but to overrule a not out decision on inconclusive evidence is questionable. I would like to know if the umpires are investigated for match fixing. The players are under immense scrutiny but do we look into the most influential people on the field?

  • POSTED BY ODI_BestFormOfCricket on | July 25, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    i really frustrated on seeing hotspot failure of detecting clear edges. It's realiability is big issue. More worse is, DRS rules relies hot spot camera.

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | July 25, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Similar technology has been in use by tennis far longer than cricket and this in a game with hair trigger personalities too. The only thing that is wrong with the DRS use in cricket is that it was introduced with a 'set and forget' attitude.

    Due to the complex nature of dismissals in cricket, it is obvious that once the handwringing had ended and DRS finally introduced, that there should have been a permanent think tank set up to look objectively at the unforeseen problems as they arose and then to tweak it's use, over a couple of years.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 24, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    For me Spectators should be only shown the slow motion. All technology should be only available for 3rd umpire. In order to help 3rd umpire we can have extra assistant for 3rd umpire to help with decision. two eyes better than one. :)

  • POSTED BY on | July 24, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    As a player, umpire and an ardent cricket watcher, I would have to congratulate Simon Taufel for his plea and his well judged comments. He has given the umpiring controversies another dimension. I believe the game will be richer if his views on a rational approach are followed.

  • POSTED BY on | July 24, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    Good points Taufel!

    Suggesting some changes to challenges remaining:

    If the 3rd umpire is unable to reverse the call because it is conclusive either way then the challenging team should get to keep the remaining challenge count in tact. After all the reason for the limit is to avoid misuse of the challenge to upset the tempo of the game.

    I will probably extend this give the 3rd umpire the power to charge or not charge for a losing challenge (example: very close calls). This way you take out the "Challenge Count Management" out of the equation.

  • POSTED BY UndertheGrill on | July 24, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Simon Taufel; already missed on the field, I only hope his entirely valid views are heard off it.

  • POSTED BY UndertheGrill on | July 24, 2013, 20:22 GMT

    Simon Taufel; already missed on the field, I only hope his entirely valid views are heard off it.

  • POSTED BY on | July 24, 2013, 21:47 GMT

    Good points Taufel!

    Suggesting some changes to challenges remaining:

    If the 3rd umpire is unable to reverse the call because it is conclusive either way then the challenging team should get to keep the remaining challenge count in tact. After all the reason for the limit is to avoid misuse of the challenge to upset the tempo of the game.

    I will probably extend this give the 3rd umpire the power to charge or not charge for a losing challenge (example: very close calls). This way you take out the "Challenge Count Management" out of the equation.

  • POSTED BY on | July 24, 2013, 22:21 GMT

    As a player, umpire and an ardent cricket watcher, I would have to congratulate Simon Taufel for his plea and his well judged comments. He has given the umpiring controversies another dimension. I believe the game will be richer if his views on a rational approach are followed.

  • POSTED BY Alexk400 on | July 24, 2013, 23:29 GMT

    For me Spectators should be only shown the slow motion. All technology should be only available for 3rd umpire. In order to help 3rd umpire we can have extra assistant for 3rd umpire to help with decision. two eyes better than one. :)

  • POSTED BY disco_bob on | July 25, 2013, 0:19 GMT

    Similar technology has been in use by tennis far longer than cricket and this in a game with hair trigger personalities too. The only thing that is wrong with the DRS use in cricket is that it was introduced with a 'set and forget' attitude.

    Due to the complex nature of dismissals in cricket, it is obvious that once the handwringing had ended and DRS finally introduced, that there should have been a permanent think tank set up to look objectively at the unforeseen problems as they arose and then to tweak it's use, over a couple of years.

  • POSTED BY ODI_BestFormOfCricket on | July 25, 2013, 1:07 GMT

    i really frustrated on seeing hotspot failure of detecting clear edges. It's realiability is big issue. More worse is, DRS rules relies hot spot camera.

  • POSTED BY wellrounded87 on | July 25, 2013, 1:40 GMT

    My only issue with the umpiring is the interpretation of conclusive evidence. When conclusive evidence is required to overrule the umpires on field decision. A noise on the stump mic is hardly conclusive proof yet in the ashes series i have seen it used 3 times to overrule the umpires decision despite no hotspot or visible ball deviation to suggest a nick. I understand these calls can go either way but to overrule a not out decision on inconclusive evidence is questionable. I would like to know if the umpires are investigated for match fixing. The players are under immense scrutiny but do we look into the most influential people on the field?

  • POSTED BY Viswasam on | July 25, 2013, 1:43 GMT

    I really like Simon Taufel but this is a neither here nor there piece. He admits the technology genie is out of the bottle but does not believe that it solves all the problems. Neither does the human solution nor the DRS and he ends with the "solution" that the majority will decide based on how our game should be played. Problem is the majority of us (the audience) understands and appreciates the "traditional" values of the game but the majority of the boards, the media and the guys profiting the most from the proceeds of the game will sway it the opposite way. So in reality this is no solution at all. Disappointing - I think the Cowdrey speech is of value if it is used by a distinguished cricketer or official to passionately take a clear stand on an issue.

  • POSTED BY Bundaboy on | July 25, 2013, 1:58 GMT

    Technology will always get better and better - humans will always be humans...

  • POSTED BY pharaohsdad on | July 25, 2013, 2:02 GMT

    Super Umpire !!! Great loss to the on-field game. Looking forward to his making a valuable and telling contribution to improving the usage of DRS.